City of Refuge was started under the leadership of the founding pastor, Dr. Dick Druary. Pastor Druary had a desire to plant a church that would reach out to those in need, have warm fellowship, and be grounded in prayer and the Word of God. Christ Evangelical Presbyterian Church helped City of Refuge start with its first service on Easter Sunday, 1996.
After Pastor Druary was called to another ministry, City of Refuge called Pastor Rufus Smith, IV, in 1999. Pastor Smith was the Spiritual Life Director at the Star of Hope, where City of Refuge was then meeting. After being called to the pastorate, Reverend Smith helped develop City of Refuge into a multi-ethnic congregation under the motto, “Blending Suburban & Urban Believers.”
Under Pastor Smith’s leadership the church outgrew the facilities at the Star of Hope. In 2003 the church completed construction on our current facility at the corner of Ardmore and Yellowstone. This facility was to serve as both a church and a center of ministry to the Medical Center, Third Ward, and South Union communities. City of Refuge has sought to use its facility to be a place of kingdom growth and to be a blessing to the city of Houston.
In February of 2012, City of Refuge called its third senior pastor, Ikki Soma, who changed the title of his role to Servant Pastor. Under Pastor Ikki’s leadership, City of Refuge has continued to grow in being a church that blends across racial, educational, and socio economic lines. He has also lead the church in the pursuit of greater spiritual health and a strong focus on discipleship. This is reflected in our current mission: “Equipping followers of Christ of all nations to make followers of Christ of all nations.”
In June of 2016, City of Refuge celebrated 20 years of ministry! The video below was compiles as a celebration of what God has done in and through our church.